Slackware 2.0 Released

by Phil Hughes

As LJ is just about to go to the printer, a new version of Slackware [see Patrick Volkerding interview, LJ #2] is being released. Over the past few months, Slackware has become the most popular Linux distribution to be made available on the Internet. This new release will differ in one major way yet continue to offer the availability and reliability that Slackware has become known for.

The part that is the same is that Slackware continues to grow into a file-system-compliant, easy-to-install Linux package that offers a very large assortment of programs. The main new features of 2.0 are:

  • Better package installation/removal tools, including tools to create your own packages.

  • A “contrib” directory with over 40 MB of extra packages. Users are encouraged to contribute packages they've put together.

  • Many more precompiled kernels to support any of the hardware supported by the standard kernel releases.

  • Integration of the UMSDOS filesystem allowing you to run Linux on top of an MS-DOS filesystem.

The major change is that Pat Volkerding made a deal with Morse Communications. Morse, by partially funding the development of Slackware, will get to distribute the “official version” of Slackware. I asked Pat why he cut the deal. He said, “Mostly because they asked me first. I've had other inquiries since then but I'm happy with the decision to let Morse publish it. I think they'll do a nice job with it.”

Pat went on to say “I hadn't planned to join up with a CD manufacturer in an official sense, but when I thought about it I decided it would be better for Slackware. Getting some project funding has allowed me to put more time into it and it will remain free and available for FTP, of course.”

One other important addition is that Morse will offer 90 days of free support with the purchase of their Slackware Pro 2.0 Linux system. It is expected to be available in mid-July.

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